Sebastien Loeb [Citroen Total WRT]:

"The combination of our running order and the changes we made to the set-up of our car last night enabled us to push hard from the outset today. I felt much more comfortable with my car than I did yesterday, so we did all we could to pull further clear [in the afternoon]. It was important to build up as big a gap as possible because we will be the ones sweeping the stages on Sunday and the bigger our cushion the less difficult that promises to be. Our lead stands at just over a minute but I am still very much on my guard; victory is by no means in the bag yet."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "We pushed on all three of this morning's stages. Our running order meant that the roads had been swept slightly clear of their loose top surface, but not that much. The set-up changes we made yesterday evening have given me a better feeling with my car but the competition is still very close. It's exactly the sort of fight I enjoy and we can't afford to ease up this afternoon because the gaps at the end of the day promise to have an impact on the way the final day unfolds."

Chris Atkinson [Subaru WRT]:

"We were settled for third this morning and I was just focussed on matching Jari-Matti's pace. Now we find ourselves in second which is good for the team and Subaru. It's a shame for Jari, but we've had our problems and that's the way it is. We have a little bit of a gap each way but the plan doesn't change. We'll not take any silly risks and just focus on matching the gaps to Sebastien and Jari tomorrow. We had a few small problems this afternoon with starts and lost a few seconds. The gap is comfortable but it won't be easy tomorrow. It'll be tricky and very loose, and we'll still need to push."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "We're pushing hard as we can't give away any time to Mikko, but we're not taking stupid risks. If I can keep around the same times as the two in front then I'm happy. We came here aiming for top five so top three is good. I'm not pacing myself to those in front and looking at their split times or anything, I'm just driving as fast as I can and without silly risks.

"Again this morning we saw a few big rocks around, I think from the cars pulling them out in front. It's quite loose, especially in stage ten. There's a lot of dirt and dust around, so having three minute gaps between the cars definitely helped. It's not as rocky as yesterday at the moment, but the second passes are always worse as more cars pull stones from the edges so we'll see this afternoon."

Jari-Matti Latvala [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"About 1km after the start of the stage [SS13] the car suddenly lost power, with no warning. The pipe between the intercooler and the turbo came loose and I had some power, but not full boost. We wrapped some aluminium tape around it before the next stage but it didn't help. I couldn't fight with Loeb for the lead this afternoon and I wanted to do that. It was bad luck but it's not my time yet to win this rally. I'm still third though and tomorrow I will drive to save my podium."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "The first stage this morning was slippery and I couldn't find the right way to drive. I understand how difficult it was for Mikko yesterday. I was cleaning the corners and that's the difference between first in the start order and second, where I was yesterday. There were many different grip levels on the loose stones and it was hard for braking. In the third stage I did everything I could, and maybe too much, because I had a close escape after a crest when the car was totally off the road."

Henning Solberg [Munchi's Ford WRT]:

"I'm really happy that I had the fastest time in SS14. It is much easier now my brakes are working again. I will try to keep fourth."

Mikko Hirvonen [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT]:

"Early in the stage [SS10], there was a big rock on the inside of a fast right bend. I couldn't avoid it and hit it with both right wheels. I immediately knew the front tyre was punctured and stopped to change it but didn't notice the rear puncture. It was only after a couple of kilometres more that the rear tyre started to slowly lose pressure. I had to be really careful in left corners and actually slid off the road at one point. Now my aim is to catch Henning for fourth tomorrow."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "I made some small changes last night and the car didn't slide as much this morning but I drove too cautiously. I was better than yesterday but I don't deserve a 'well done' yet. It was better not being first on the road but I started this morning with the intention of driving flat out and while I drove fast, improvements are still needed. I'm at the same pace as last year and it's not enough."

Matthew Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]:

"It has been another good day for us and now we are looking safe to score our first WRC points of the year. This morning went OK but I did struggle a little bit with the pace in areas as I was able to push sometimes but where it was rough I probably backed off a bit too much. We lost about 10 seconds on stage 13 after I spun on a hairpin right and stalled the car which took a bit to get started again. We also hit a dog in the same stage so it was a fairly eventful one to round off the morning. I was happy to be setting times today in and around the top-six and it's great to get the car back to final service after what has been a challenging second day of Rally Mexico. Tomorrow we will take another steady approach and look to hold sixth position which would be a fantastic result here."

Federico Villagra [Munchi's Ford WRT]:

[Speaking after SS14] "I will be happy to finish the day. I was very happy with my pace yesterday but this morning we lost so much time [with no power steering]. Now we are just cruising home."

Ricardo Trivino [Peugeot 206 WRC]

"I had brake problems [this morning]. A brake pipe broke at the front [in SS10], but I am still so happy. There are thousands of people out on the stages cheering for me on the sides of the roads. I am very happy to see so many fans here! I have had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the day!"

Sebastien Ogier [Citroen C2 S1600 - JWRC]:

"We just drove a sensible rally today. We didn't want to take any unnecessary risks as it was vital for us to hang onto the lead. We managed to maintain our advantage, despite some attacks from Patrik Sandell. Tomorrow, we're going to continue with the same plan in order to reach the finish ramp and fulfil the objectives set for us by our team and our partners at the start of the year."

Jaan Molder [Suzuki Swift S1600 - JWRC]:

"I've enjoyed today and I'm happy to be back in second place. We are a minute behind the leader now so we will keep pushing at the same pace tomorrow: if he has a problem or a puncture we need to be close enough to take advantage. I felt that I did not have enough traction in the sandy stages this morning, and I made some set-up changes at midday service to make the car softer. The afternoon was a lot better, although we clipped a rock that knocked the steering out of line slightly."

Michal Kosciuszko [Suzuki Swift S1600 - JWRC]:

"The jump on SS11 was really spectacular: I braked a bit too late and the car went flying - I was worried that we would crash. On the next stage I didn't feel so confident and Jaan got past me: I was probably too cautious. Then the car overheated on SS12, which cost us a bit of power, and on the last proper stage of the day I didn't push hard enough again. It's better to be safe than sorry and we are still in a good position. My aim was always to be at the finish tomorrow to score points."

Aaron Burkart [Citroen C2 S1600 - JWRC]:

"I'm pleased with the behaviour of my C2 Super 1600 but less happy with my own driving as I've not felt comfortable on today's stages. It was hard for me to find the correct line and stay on it. During the second run through the stages I was able to improve my times but I'm still not satisfied with my position at the end of today."

Conrad Rautenbach [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]:

"Today was good, although it was tough. I found it quite hard to get a good rhythm, particularly in the slow stuff, and that's where we're really losing time. What's difficult is the fact that the roads are changing a lot all of the time. The C4 is very different to the Xsara that we drove [on the previous three WRC rounds]. You sit much further back and seem lower down in the car, so it's not easy to place it on the road sometimes. We made a few changes to the set-up of the car at service at lunch time. They were just tweaks to the centre differential map and dampers, nothing major. The road has been quite rough where we've been running, as there have been quite a few rocks pulled out by previous cars and you have to try and avoid the worse of them. What happened yesterday was obviously disappointing, but with more time in the car we'll get more used to it. It's just a question of that really - and that's where the extra time is going to come from. I'm enjoying myself though. It's a nice rally and the people here are really enthusiastic.

"For tomorrow, it's going to be more of the same. I don't think we'll make any changes to the car, we'll just push on and see what we can do with a few more of the stages. It's quite a short day tomorrow, though."

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]:

"I'm delighted with the way our day went, which only serves to make our misfortunes of yesterday all the more frustrating. We've found a set-up I like and I had an excellent feeling with my C4. There is one more leg to come and we're still in with a chance to pick up a Manufacturers' point for Citro?n."

[Speaking in the mid-day service] "The first thing I want to say is that I was overjoyed to be able to line up for this morning's start thanks to the SupeRally ruling. Yesterday was so frustrating! We soon got back in the rhythm and I am pleased with our run so far. True, we have the benefit of cleaner stages but the cars ahead of us on the road are dragging a lot of stones onto the line. We will try to work a little bit on our set-up at lunchtime to try to keep up this morning's momentum."

Shaun Gallagher [Citroen C2 S1600 - JWRC]:

"Today went a bit better than yesterday, certainly as far as my physical health is concerned. Nonetheless, I found it hard to get into the right rhythm and I picked up a puncture on SS13. The C2 is great, but I'm worried about getting caught out by something so I'm not pushing as hard as I could. The heat and the altitude are two more things holding me back here. I'm not used to competing in these conditions, and that shows in my stage times."

Notable retirements:

Daniel Sordo [Citroen Total WRT]: [retired from day 1 in SS1 - suspension - re-started on day 2 under the SupeRally]

"I don't know what happened. I was keeping to the line made by previous competitors through a left-hand corner, but there must have been a rock because the wishbone broke. It's bitterly disappointing. Up to that point, we had found a good pace and our split times were looking good."

Conrad Rautenbach [PH Sport-Citroen C4 WRC]: [retired from day 1 in SS3 - damaged suspension - re-started on day 2 under the SupeRally]

"I'm so disappointed with this result. After the test in France, everything felt really good for this event. The C4 is easier to drive than the Xsara I'd used for the last three rallies, so straight away I was more comfortable in the car. David [Senior - my co-driver] and I had a good recce, and we had a plan to be sensible here and try to take a [drivers' championship] point from this event. That was exactly what I had done this morning - no risks, just driving in the middle of the road. We hadn't had any moments. We came towards the end of the third stage and I turned into a corner, we touched the bank on the outside with the front-right wheel on full lock and that was the end of that. The TCA had broken. I tried to carry on to try and get out of the stage, but we just couldn't make it through the next corner. I can't believe it.

"The times were good this morning and then the splits in the third stage were also encouraging - particularly when you think about what our plan had been and the fact that we hadn't taken any chances. Looking at the leaderboard now, at the end of day one, I know that we could have been in seventh place. That just makes the whole thing even worse. The positive from this is that I'm comfortable and confident in the car. And now I'm going to push on tomorrow and see what kind of times we can set. I don't know if this was bad luck, my mistake or just one of those things that can happen in rallying. One thing is for sure, though, tomorrow is another day and we'll be out there to see what we can do in the C4 WRC."

Per-Gunnar Andersson [Suzuki WRT]: [retired from event in service A - engine]

"The fact that we were sixth when we stopped just goes to show the potential of the whole SX4 WRC package. We had a very good run through the morning's stages, although the suspension set-up was a little too hard. Considering that we had no testing before the event, I think it was really good. Unfortunately we then had an engine problem, and this is something that we need to sort out. Once that is done though, we will be in a good position. I'm quite confident that we could have taken points here."

Toni Gardemeister [Suzuki WRT]: [retired from event in SS4 - engine]

"Unfortunately my 100th rally has been memorable for the wrong reasons! We didn't really get a chance to show what we were capable of today as from the first stage the engine was down on power and we just had to try and get through the opening loop. It was a strange problem as sometimes there was power and other times there wasn't. I've got every confidence that the team will find out what the problem is; we have to remember that the car is still very new, and we have a lot of work to do."

Gigi Galli [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT]: [retired from event in SS4 - suspension/rollcage damage]

"I am very disappointed with what happened on stage 4 today and the fact we have retired from the event. It was the first corner and I came flat in third gear and the car slid too wide and we banged into a rock. We tried to fix the problem on the stage but ended up losing too much time and had to retire. It was just so silly because everything was feeling good and it was so unlucky that we hit the rock because I felt like I was set up well for the fast left-hand corner. The first two stages today were very good and I actually didn't really expect to get such good times because we were taking no risks and just driving sensibly and everything, the car, tyres and setup, was all perfect. I had a slight problem with a pacenote on stage 3 and we spun into a ditch and were stuck for a while as there were only four spectators to help us out there. It is a shame I only got to drive about 60 kilometres on gravel and with the new tyres but the experience will help me when we go to Argentina for the next round."

Martin Prokop [Citroen C2 S1600 - JWRC]: [retired from day 1 in SS4 - broken engine sensor - re-started on day 2 under SupeRally]

"We just got caught out on the first stage and so we rolled three times. The car was on its roof and it took us a while to get it back on its wheels as there were no spectators around to help. There was quite a lot of damage to the bodywork, the left-rear window was broken and the interior of the car was covered in dust. Luckily we were able to get through the next two stages and reach the service park. Unfortunately, we had to retire in SS4 at the start of the second loop with a broken engine sensor. We plan to re-start tomorrow morning under the SupeRally system though."

Petter Solberg [Subaru WRT]: [retired from day 2 after SS10 - driveshaft - will re-start on day 3 under SupeRally]

"Today was not good for us. I didn't feel comfortable with the car this morning on the loose surface, and then we had the drive problem which forced us to retire. It's so frustrating when we had the speed early on in this event but we are now so far back."

Team principals:

Olivier Quesnel [Citroen Total WRT - team principal]:

"It would be difficult not to be pleased with the way today went. Just as we had hoped yesterday, Seb and Daniel were able to challenge for the lead and they profited from the work done on their car last night by Citro?n Sport to win their duel and pull out a useful gap. They haven't won this rally yet, though, and tomorrow's leg could well spring a surprise or two. The run of Dani and Marc today was an encouraging pointer for the rest of the year. They matched the speed of their team-mates on several occasions and, had they not been eliminated on Friday when a component broke after an impact on SS1, they would be battling for a podium finish now. But there are plenty more rallies to come for that."

David Richards [Subaru WRT - managing director]:

"Today we have had mixed fortunes in very challenging conditions. Unfortunately Petter's car suffered a transmission failure that forced his retirement from a strong fourth position, but Chris has done a very good job to put himself on target for his highest WRC finish."

Malcolm Wilson [BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT - team director]:

"Jari's still third and so many drivers have had problems that the rally isn't over yet. Mikko had a tough day but he made it back and will be out there battling again tomorrow."

Malcolm Wilson [Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT - team boss]:

"It has been another great day for Matthew and he is now in a good position to score his first points of the year. He has had a couple of small problems but has managed to get through at a reasonable pace and stay out of trouble. Today was another tough day for the guys and again saw several crews overcome by the challenging conditions. It was unfortunate Gigi could not restart today but now Matthew has the chance to score some good points for the Stobart team and help to keep their strong position in the Manufacturers' Championship."

Nobuhiro Tajima [Suzuki - team boss]:

"Both Jaan and Michal have done a good job today although they have each had their adventures, which goes to show how tough this rally is. Tomorrow there are just three stages, but they are sure to be covered in a lot of gravel so punctures are a big risk. The drivers must make sure that they take no chances that compromise their prospects of reaching the finish. So far they have driven very well, so I have every confidence that they will carry on in this productive way."

[Speaking at end of day 1] "I feel so very sorry for both of our drivers, especially Toni who was starting his 100th WRC rally here. This was an incredibly disappointing experience for all of us. As was the case in Monte Carlo and Sweden, we have been stopped by an engine problem and we suspect that it is for a similar reason, although we will only know for sure once we fully examine the cars. It's clear that we have an issue with the engines, but under the current engine linking regulations we are not permitted to change the engine during or in between the rallies to try and understand the problem. As a new team we want to and we need to improve: but sometimes this is not easy when the rules are not in your favour as a newcomer. It was always going to be tough for us here. Toni did not really have a chance today, but until his retirement P-G was again doing a fantastic job for us. The potential is still very much there and we all have confidence that we will bounce back from this disappointment."

Terenzio Testoni [Pirelli tyre technician]:

[Speaking after SS11] "We've had a very insignificant number of punctures, bearing in mind the tough nature of this rally. Those that have happened, such as the one that befell Mikko Hirvonen in the factory Ford, have been down to slow punctures caused by sharp rocks that have cut the sides of the tyres or the tread pattern. From what we can see so far, it's been a more than positive start for Pirelli's new gravel tyres."



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